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If you've worked in sales, you've probably heard the acronym ABC: Always Be Closing. I'd like to borrow that for a minute, with one small change. Instead of closing, cleaning. Always Be Cleaning.

What Kat?? Always be cleaning?? No way. That sounds awful.

Ok, but what sounds worse? Spending 5 minutes every day? Or spending 2 or 3 hours, or more, every week? And let's be honest, that 2 or 3 hours won't happen every week, but will most likely turn into 1 or 2 days you'd have to spend at the end of the month to really get things back into shape. Yuck. And when that doesn't happen, you'll be spending your 2 weeks vacation every year just digging out of the mess that's accumulated. Double yuck. There are picnics to be had and time to be spent with loved ones on your days off, why waste that time cleaning and organizing?

We already discussed Number 1 of (Cue dramatic music) The 2 Major Principles Of Organizing in a previous post.

Major Principle 1: A Place For Everything. Everything you own has to have a home or you will never become organized.

Major Principle 2: Always Be Cleaning, putting things back in their home, is the key to staying organized. ABPA (Always Be Putting Away ) isn't nearly as catchy as ABC, so work with me on this. I'm not saying you perpetually need a vacuum and some Windex in your hand (but if you can get that guy up there to do it for you....), I'm just saying you need to make like an 8 year old and put your toys away when you're done playing with them.

Your goal is to have this be second nature.

At first it will be “Oh, silly me, my keys don't go on the dining room table, they go on the key hook inside the front door. Let me go hang them up right now”. Eventually that will be replaced by hanging the keys up immediately upon walking through the door and voila, no lost keys, no extra clutter.

- When you're bringing in your mail, it gets sorted into recycle or filed immediately.  Even better if you opt-out or unsubscribe.

- Groceries get put away immediately.

- The bag and wrappers from In N Out go into the compost immediately upon finishing the meal.

- Your kid's school books and papers go back into their backpacks as soon as they are finished with homework and the back packs go to their home by the front door on those hooks you have for them.

- Dishes get put into the dishwasher/washed by hand immediately upon finishing with them.

- Kids' toys. If they are old enough to walk, they are old enough to start learning “Put your toys away!”. Trust me, they will thank you later. And you'll thank me when you don't have to clean up a room that looks like Toys R Us exploded in it. Be their Mom, not their maid.

- Donations go directly into your "donations" bag that you keep near the front door.  Once it's full, it's time to take it to Goodwill or the charity of your choice.

Please remember. This is a HABIT. It takes 21 days to establish a new one. Be patient with yourself, but be firm. No one is going to put your toys away for you, unless you really trained those kids well!! If you think I'm crazy and it's not really that simple, email me. We'll work through it and figure out how to get your place in order.   

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P.P.S. A Place for Everything and Where to Start Organizing